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Homey wine bar APT 115 opens with daily rotating wine menu in East Austin

Arianna Auber
aauber@statesman.com
The almost two-month-old wine bar APT 115 has already drawn regulars who love the regularly changing wine list and small plates of meat and cheese.

You might feel as though you’ve been transported into your hip old college friend’s chic abode, catching up over a bottle of wine, while hanging out at the new APT 115 bar that has officially opened in East Austin. 

That sort of casual vibe — coupled with a wine list that changes daily and features a range of varietals from all around the world — was just what APT 115 owner and local musician Joe Pannenbacker had in mind when he devised the tiny neighborhood wine spot on the ground floor of the 7East Apartments, according to a press release. 

A bass guitarist who has performed with a number of local bands, such as Think No Think, he approaches wine the way he does music: without pretension or a stringent following of the rules. 

“Wine to me is like music. It’s meant to be fun,” he said in the release. “When Eddie Van Halen was asked who taught him, he said, ‘I didn’t go by the book, I wrote that book.’ And that’s exactly what I am trying to do here. Sometimes we work outside the rules, but the aim is to always help guests enjoy wine without any intimidation factor, facilitate fun and let people enjoy the music or, in this case, the wine and the music.”

Expect to taste wines you’ve either never heard of or wines from world regions you didn’t know made wine, whether that’s an “off-the-beaten path” option from Tikveš in Macedonia or a stellar example of Texas craft such as Southold Farm + Cellar’s Call of the Brave, a sangiovese and cabernet franc blend, according to the press release.

The bar is small, seating no more than 20 people, and designed to maintain a homey feel while you try these internationally spanning wines. You can pair one of the daily wine-by-the-glass offerings with lights bites such as a charcuterie plate. Not into wine? Pannenbacker has cultivated a draft beer list of local and global offerings that also rotates regularly. 

Given his background, he’s also made music a key aspect of APT 115, playing vinyl records while you sip and snack.

“My taste in music is similar to my taste in wine, all over the place,” he said in the press release. “We love to play Supertramp and Fleetwood Mac, but you never know what you are going to get: sometimes Slayer, sometimes John Coltrane, sometimes Jay Z.”

APT 115 is located in the same multi-use complex, at 2025 East Seventh St., where the It’s Italian wine bar and market was also located before moving to South Lamar to open as a full-fledged restaurant. The wine bar is open 5 to 11 p.m. daily. 

For more information, visit apartmentonefifteen.com.

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